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Zimbabwe Overhauls Economic and Social Data Reporting Agency With ADB Funds

  • Gibbs Dube

Under the re-organization, the Central Statistical Office has been spun off from the Ministry of Finance to become a semi-autonomous agency called the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, or ZIMSTAT

The Zimbabwean government is overhauling the country's statistical reporting system with funding from the African Development Bank after concluding that data from the Central Statistical Office was unreliable.

Press reports quoted Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe and Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma as saying the statistical office stopped conducting surveys on industry and employment between 1999 and 2006.

The CSO last produced the Agricultural and Livestock Survey in 2006, the Labor Force Survey in 2005 and the Census of Industrial Production in 1999, the reports quoted the ministers as saying.

Under the re-organization, the Central Statistical Office has been spun off from the Ministry of Finance to become a semi-autonomous agency called the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, or ZIMSTAT. With funding from the African Development Bank, the new body is to start collecting data this week, sources said.

Some of the surveys to be developed include a Quarterly Employment Inquiry, a Business Tendency Survey, a Census of Industrial Production, a Manufacturing Index and an Information and Communication Technology Survey.

Statistician Khumbulani Gwebu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that ZIMSTAT needs to have a measure of autonomy so that it can provide reliable data without political interference.

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